Can I Wash Curtains That Are Dry Clean Only

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Like many other home décors, curtains will get dirty with time; this will demand that you wash them clean. Since they are made of different materials, there are various cleaning instructions in different window coverings.

Others will require that you machine wash them, unlike others, especially those that dry-clean only.

However, the dry cleaner may not be practical because of timing or its price, and you may be required to use other alternatives.

This brings us to the question, can you wash curtains that are dry clean only?

The general rule to dry clean only is dry cleaning. However, you can try washing them with a machine. Unlike other curtains, though, these will require special treatment if you decide to clean them. Use very gentle cycles with very mild detergent, and wash nothing with them.

Since the dry clean only window, treatments are made of unique material and are lined. Washing them may make them shrink, or you may end up distorting their lines.

To avoid this, wash them gently. You should also hang them straight after washing them or iron them gently if need be.

With that said, let’s look at how you can wash your dry clean only curtains.

Can You Wash Dry Clean Curtains In The Washing Machine?


Drapes stay on windows and doors that we leave open most of the day. Curtains absorb a lot of dirt from the outside and from the frequent touch by people when they enter or leave the room.

With that said, your curtains may get dirty at the most unexpected time when you have a tight schedule that taking them to a dry cleaner won’t be practical. 

Despite them being dry clean only, other alternatives may get your curtain clean and keep your room attractive. A washing machine may come in handy if you want to clean your dry clean only curtain. 

However, since the dry clean only curtains are very delicate. They are lined and shrink when washed and may shrink to 2 or 3 times their size. It will require that you follow some steps keenly to avoid ruining your curtains.

The best way to avoid damaging your dry clean only curtain when you machine-wash them is to use your washing machine’s gentlest setting.

Avoid using too much soap when washing them—these cuts throughout regardless of the soap form. Too much cleaning reagent may ruin your curtain.

This is because there will be too much reaction between the cleaning agents and the threading of your curtain.

Ensure that you use cold water if you opt for machine washing. Warm water has a high chance of pulling, distorting, and shifting the curtain materials due to direct exposure to heat.

Coldwater keeps the curtains under the most preservative settings and reduces the chances of damaging your coverings.

Pulling the curtains out immediately, they finish washing and laying them out to dry, or hanging them is highly advised. It ensures that the water dries off quickly and prevents curtain distortions.

Be prepared for a not-so-pleasing outcome, depending on the material of your curtain. It may come out all wrong. Ensure maximum care and vigilance if you are going to do this on your own at home.

How Do You Wash Dry Clean Only Fabrics?

You can employ several ways when you want to wash dry clean only curtains.

When you decide to wash your dry clean only drapes, there are some outcomes you should be prepared to encounter after.

Since these curtains usually are lined or made with delicate material, they are likely to be damaged when you wash them.

If washing them is the only option you have, you may decide to hand wash them or use a washing machine. Either way, follow some steps and rules to reduce the damage your curtains may suffer.

When your machine washes, make sure that you use the gentlest settings of your machine.

Gentle washing cycles and a mild detergent will clean your drapes and ensure they are maintained at the nest state.

If you opt for hand-washing, some rules you should adhere to include;

  1. Make sure you use cold water when hand washing your dry clean only curtains.
  2. Do not wash the curtain with other clothes; the fabric may be vulnerable to color distortion of other bleeding materials.
  3. Submerge the curtains in cold water
  4. Use a biological washing powder or a light detergent.
  5. Gently rub the cleaning agent into the curtain.
  6. Ensure that the water level is enough to submerge the curtain. More water levels around the curtain will mean more detergent around the fabric and thus a faster cleaning process.
  7. Drain the water as soon as you finish massaging the curtains and hang them to dry

What Happens If You Wash Dry Clean Only Curtains?

Dry cleaning is a delicate process, and most professional dry cleaners know how to protect the delicate trimmings.

However, we may be caught up with the timing that we decide to wash the dry clean only fabrics.

This is a precarious move, as the chances are that you may ultimately damage the fabric. Most dry-clean fabrics are only made of light materials that would spoil if you wash them. 

Some effects of washing dry clean only curtains include

  1. The fabric or lining of your garment could tear, or you could destroy the beadings, sequins, or lace.
  2. The garment could shrink significantly or stretch out of shape.
  3. The colors can fade or bleed.
  4. Washing may interfere with the fabric texture or may even cause fabric pilling.
  5. Some stains might remain after washing a dry clean only fabric.

Can You Wash Polyester Curtains That Say Dry Clean Only?

If you try to machine wash or hand-wash polyester curtains that say dry-clean only. You ensure that you use very mild washing detergents.

It is recommended to wash the drapes alone. Washing them with other fabrics might cause the color to distort.

Since the materials are dry cleaning, remove the water absorbed as quickly as possible to prevent any damage to the polyester curtains.

When hand-washing, make sure that you’re gentle with the fabric. Using too much energy or scrubbing might destroy the material and damage the lining of your curtains.

The best approach will massage your curtains in water and a biological washing powder.

If you decide to machine-wash the polyester curtains, make sure that you set the cycles gently. Gentle processes will ensure that you preserve the curtains and reduce the chances of damaging your fabric.

Dry your curtains immediately after washing them. Since they are meant for dry cleaning, staying with water will increase the chances of being damaged.

You will therefore be required to hang them outside as soon as you finish washing. Ironing the polyester should only be done when necessary.

How Much Does It Cost To Dry Clean Curtains?

Window treatments are usually left uncovered. As a result, if they are not cleaned regularly, they accumulate dust and seem unclean.

Even with well-sealed and insulated windows, dirt and dust can penetrate and produce unsightly buildup, causing professional intervention. 

Dry-washing is less expensive, but it causes removing the curtains from their fittings and a three-day wait. Window coverings may be serviced without having to remove them sometimes.

Companies typically charge between $1 and $5 per foot. They may charge between $1 and $5 per pleat if the curtain or drape is pleated.

Major cost factors are the size of the drape, the material, and the number of window treatments that must be serviced.

Because different materials need different upkeep, the labor for one type may be more intensive than for the other.

Drapery panels are typically 4′-10′ broad, with 15-30 pleats on pleated drapes.

A typical 8′ wide drapery would cost $8-$40 to clean, whereas a standard 20-pleat drapery would cost $20-$100.

Can You Steam Dry Clean Only Curtains?

A curtain with wrinkles is often not so pleasing. It looks not only ugly but also kills the aesthetics of your entire room.

If you have a dry-clean-only curtain, removing the wrinkles may pose an enormous challenge.

This is because of how delicate the dry clean only fabrics are. If you aren’t keen enough, you might do even more damage to remove the wrinkles since these types of curtains cannot be ironed.

Steaming can come in handy. Steaming will remove the wrinkles on your dry-clean-only curtains and make them straight causing no damage.

How To Clean Curtains Without Washing

Cleaning your curtains might help to improve the appearance of your living space. They are, however, prone to becoming dusty because they are rarely washed. Don’t worry. You can keep them clean without washing them if you use these easy ways.

  1. Clean the window
  2. Steam often
  3. Dust hard 
  4. Vacuum weekly

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